In our last issue, we covered the multiple challenges that were being filed against the July and August State of Illinois cannabis license lotteries. On September 3rd, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation admitted there was a “clerical oversight” with data entry in the three drawings that wrongfully excluded applicants. So to be fair, the drawings should be done over, right?
Not so fast — this is Illinois, usually ranked as one of the top two states in public corruption (we’re looking at you, Louisiana.) So the IDFPR is taking the position that the results of the original lotteries are final, and they will now conduct “corrective lotteries” intended to “redress errors that resulted in the improper exclusion of applicant entries in the three original lotteries.”
What could go wrong with this approach? Well, plenty. And that’s why the 185 license winners haven’t exactly popped the champagne corks yet. IDFPR cannot issue these licenses because of a court order, and the presiding judge who has yet to definitely rule has publicly stated that the state still may have to redo the entire process, clawing back the awarded licenses. So the winners have no choice but to wait until things move through the courts.
If the courts allow IDFPR to proceed, agreeing that it has the authority to create more licenses beyond the 185 in question, this is the process it plans to follow:
- Separate corrective lotteries will be conducted for each Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) region in which an applicant was improperly excluded.
- Application entries that were erroneously excluded may be able to obtain a conditional license. Eligibility will be determined by the IDFPR or a court of competent jurisdiction.
- Applicants with entries that were properly included in the original lotteries will not have another entry in a corrective lottery.
- The Illinois lottery will conduct the corrective lotteries with the computer-based drawing system that was used for each of the previous lotteries. An applicant will be eligible for an opportunity to receive a conditional license only if its entry is drawn in a “winning” slot based on the number of available licenses in that BLS region. For example, in a BLS region with three available licenses, an eligible application entry that had been erroneously excluded must draw Nos. 1, 2 or 3 to be eligible for an opportunity to obtain a conditional license through the corrective lottery.
Court hearings on the current complaints are scheduled for September 23rd and October 5th; Kanna Knowledge will keep its eye on the twists and turns that surely lie ahead.
Cartoon Source: Central Valley Calfornia NORML